A family dispute over inherited property in Ahmedabad has put the future of over 1,500 students at risk. The students of V R Shah Smruti Vidyalaya and V R Shah Smruti Adarsh Prathmik Shala, run by Shree V R Shah Smruti Adarsh Education Trust in the walled city area of Kalupur, are in a fix over their own future as well as that of their school.
The property dispute, said to be sub judice, has continued for several years between two of the six Shah brothers who are running the schools — Girish Shah and Jayant Shah. However, Jayant died a couple of years back and the school is now run by his wife.
The parents and students were a harassed lot on Monday when the school re-opened after summer vacations. The school was locked from outside in the morning at around 7 am. Students and a few parents, along with the school staff, had to wait outside till it was revealed that the school was locked as a result of the family dispute over property. Later, the students were taken to the terrace of the building.
“We had to take students to the terrace when we realised that my sisters-in-law had locked the school as a tussle over property. As another school — V R Shah Smruti Vidyalaya — is run by them for students of Class IX-XII in the afternoon shift in the same building, they claim their right over the entire school building,” said Kalpana Shah, one of the trustees and a sister of Shah brothers. Kalpana is also in the administrative staff of V R Shah Adarsh Prathmik Shala. She alleged that her sisters-in-law — Saroj, Darshna, Jhalini, Dr Asha and Jayshree — had come and locked the school in the morning. The other side of the family involved in the dispute could not be reached despite several attempts.
The ruckus created by the family members led to a police complaint. A few policemen were also deployed outside the school building to avoid the altercation to result into any violent incident. Among this, there were parents running from pillar to post for no fault of theirs.
Owing to the dispute, which the students have been facing for the last two years, many parents have got their children transferred to other schools. There are still others who have requested the same over the last one week, but have been denied a transfer certificate by the school authorities.
“This is going on for the last two years. Now the case is such that the students are not being taught. Even if teachers are present, they hardly teach. In such a case, it is better to get them admitted to another school. But, when we requested the school authorities, they denied to relieve my son, a Class VIII student, who has been here since Class I,” lamented Mohammad Yunus, a resident of Narol.
Another parent, Praveen Chandrakadia, whose twin daughters are in Class III, also reached the school to get their transfer certificates. “Neither the school is relieving my daughters nor have I any hope of getting admission to some good school now. I am worried about their future,” he said. Nileshwari Shrimali, whose daughter is in Class VII, also rushed to the school on Monday afternoon. “In the personal dispute of the family, it is the future of our children that is at risk. We have no choice. Neither the school is able to provide education to my daughter nor is it giving a school leaving certificate,” she complained. ShreeV R Shah Smruti Adarsh Education Trust was formed in 1962 and the schools are being run since the 1980s.